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The Future Is Spoken

The Future is Spoken is a voice tech podcast covering all aspects of the industry, from conversational strategy and design, through to interfaces, analytics, ethics, privacy, and career planning. The Future is Spoken is the podcast for the Digital Assistant Academy.

Episodes

Episode 30: Voice Design Strategy for Everyone

 

The Future is Spoken presents Susan and Scot Westwater as this week's guests.

Susan and Scot Westwater are the husband-and-wife co-founders of Pragmatic Digital where they advise the world's most innovative brands that want to capitalize on the incredible opportunity Voice represents. Through their consultancy, Susan and Scot help clients solve their marketing and customer experiences problems using customer-centric approaches to plan and create useful and usable Voice experiences for their audiences. 

They have presented and authored several talks, workshops, articles, and ebooks focused on the role Voice technology plays in marketing and business strategy. Together, they authored the book Voice Strategy: Creating Useful and Usable Voice Experiences and are working on a second book titled Voice Marketing which will be released in Spring 2022. 

Susan and Scot are also co-founders of Voice Masters, an online education program designed to teach innovative business teams about Voice and Voice strategy and ambassadors for the Open Voice Network and instructors for the Marketing AI Institute AI Academy. They both were recognized in Voicebot's Top 68 Leaders in Voice 2020, and Scot was recently included in Sound Hound's "Top 40 Voice AI Influencers to Follow on Twitter."

Read the full show notes

 

Episode 29: Collaboration in Conversation Design

 

Ilana Meir is a Conversation Designer at Facebook Reality Labs. There, she works with a cross-functional team with AR/VR technologies, namely Oculus and Portal. Ilana approaches her work with a cultural lens: first seeking to understand the cultural underpinnings of behavior in a space and then how a new product will affect them. For her contributions to the design field and voice community, Speech Technology magazine named Ilana a "Speech Technology Luminary”.

 

Daniel Suissa is a software engineer at Facebook Reality Labs, working on knowledge bases for conversational AIs focusing on media-related interactions. He previously helped build the personal finance manager Exeq (acquired by RetailWorx), helping young folks understand their spending and connect with their favorite local merchants. Daniel comes from a background in data representation and understanding from the IDF, where I led a team of analysts that advised military leadership on resource management & strategy.

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Episode 28: Conversations With AI

 

The Future is Spoken presents Jonathan Bloom as this week’s guest. 

Jonathan is a Senior Conversation Designer for Google, focusing on the Google Assistant. Jon was previously the UX Research Lead for Jibo, Inc., creators of the social robot of the same name. Jon was also Senior Voice User Interface Manager for Nuance Communications, where he sat on Nuance’s Innovation Steering Committee. Over his 20-year career, Jon has designed graphic, speech, and multimodal user interfaces for robots, IVR’s, dictation software, cars, and mobile applications.  Jon holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the New School for Social Research. 

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Episode 27: Standardizing Voice Experiences

 

The Future is Spoken presents Jon Stine as this week’s guest. 

Jon Stine is the Executive Director of The Open Voice Network (OVN), a non-profit global association dedicated to bringing the benefit of  standards to the world of artificial intelligence-enabled voice assistance.  The OVN is a Directed Fund of The Linux Foundation. 

He brings to this role more than 30 years of global leadership in the commerce and technology industries.    

Jon’s retail industry knowledge was first shaped in the womenswear apparel business, as he headed sales of a well-known national brand to leading US department and specialty stores.   In 2000, he joined the Intel Corporation to create and head its first global outreach to the retail and consumer goods industry.   In the years that followed, he was a co-founder of the Metro Group Future Store Initiative in Germany, and the Pan-Pearl River Delta Initiative that first brought digital transparency to the China-to-US supply chain.

 

He joined Cisco Systems retail-CPG consulting team in late 2006, and later headed Cisco’s North America consulting practice for retail-CPG.   In 2014, he returned to Intel as the Global Enterprise Sales General Manager for the retail, hospitality, and consumer goods industries.  He stepped away from Intel in 2019 to build The Open Voice Network.

Through the years, Jon has worked directly with customers across the Americas, Western and Central Europe, Middle East, India, China, and Japan, as well as delivery partners in hardware, software, services, and consulting.   

Jon resides in Portland, Oregon, USA.

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Episode 26: Art Of Crafting Natural Conversations

 

The Future is Spoken presents Jeff Adams as this week's guest. Jeff has been leading prominent speech & language technology research for more than 20 years. Until 2009, he worked at Nuance / Dragon, where he was responsible for developing and improving speech recognition for Nuance's "Dragon" dictation software. He presided over many of the critical improvements in the 1990s and 2000s that brought this technology into the mainstream and enabled widespread consumer adoption.

After leaving Nuance, Jeff joined Yap, a company specializing in voicemail-to-text transcription. He assembled a strong team of 12 speech scientists who, within two brief years, were able to beat all competitors on an unbiased test set. They also matched the performance of a competitor who used (off-shore) human transcription.

Yap's success caught the interest of Amazon, who wanted to jump-start their new speech & language research lab. Upon acquisition, Jeff led efforts to build one of the industry-leading speech & language groups. His Amazon team developed products such as the Echo, Dash, and Fire TV. Jeff left Amazon in 2014 to found Cobalt Speech and Language.

Starting with their own experiences, they end up discussing crafting natural conversations for the bot.

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Episode 25: Building Trust With Voice Interactions

The Future is Spoken presents Elaine Lee as this week's guest. 

Elaine Lee is a designer specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a focus on ethical AI. She's currently a Principal Product Designer at Twilio on the AI team, and previously led the design of eBay's AI-powered shopping assistant on Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant.

Starting with their own experiences, they end up discussing building a trustworthy voice assistant

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Episode 24: Natural Sounding Synthetic Voice

The Future is Spoken presents Marco Pasqua as this week's guest. 

Marco Pasqua was born on July 4, 1985, weighing only 2 pounds 10 ounces and was 3 months premature; he would later be diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When he was only 10 years old, Marco was invited to be the ambassador/host of the Timmy’s Christmas Telethon with local radio legend Red Robinson. This was his first opportunity to speak in front of a large audience; it was then that he realized the impact that words can have but he had no idea that this would later turn into his career.

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Episode 23: Accessibility And Inclusion in Voice

The Future is Spoken presents Marco Pasqua as this week's guest. 

Marco Pasqua was born on July 4, 1985, weighing only 2 pounds 10 ounces and was 3 months premature; he would later be diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When he was only 10 years old, Marco was invited to be the ambassador/host of the Timmy’s Christmas Telethon with local radio legend Red Robinson. This was his first opportunity to speak in front of a large audience; it was then that he realized the impact that words can have but he had no idea that this would later turn into his career.

Read the full show notes

 

Episode 22: Empathy And Inclusion in Voice Design

The Future is Spoken presents Maaike Coppens as this week's guest. Maaike is an international Conversation Design Expert, speaker and co-author of the Voice UX Workbook. With a successful background in linguistics and UX design, Maaike found conversational design the perfect blend.

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Episode 21: Designing Conversational Bots for Enterprise

The Future is Spoken presents Greg Bennett as this week's guest. Since its inception, Greg is Conversation Design Principal at Salesforce, leading the company's first dedicated Conversation Design practice. As a linguist, Greg focuses on empowering businesses to create chatbots that feel natural and helpful, build user trust, and meet customer expectations for conversational behaviour. 

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Episode 20: Explainable VUI

"The Future is Spoken" presents Dr Maria Aretoulaki as this week's guest. Maria is a Voice First Veteran, having been designing Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) since 1996, long before Voice Assistants, but also before telephone self-service and Speech IVRs were mainstream. She got into Voice Design through a Post-Doc in Spoken Dialogue Management for Speech Recognition applications, after getting a PhD and an MSc in NLP and Machine Learning and, earlier, a BA (Hons) in Linguistics & English.

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Episode 19: Building conversation design teams within an organization

The Future is Spoken presents Obaid Ahmed as this week's guest. Obaid is founder and CEO of Botmock, the leading chatbot design collaboration platform. Before Botmock, Obaid co-founded a design consultancy firm OAK where he led the technology and design teams to deliver over 400 projects. Today, Obaid focuses on building on the success of Botmock to make it a real driver in building the next generation of conversational apps.

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Episode 18: How to build the future of voice?

The Future is Spoken presents Jeff Blankenburg as this week’s guest. Jeff spent the early part of his career in digital advertising, building websites for Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ford Motor Company, among others. He also spent 8 years at Microsoft, primarily as an evangelist for any new technology he could get his hands on. Today, he works on the Amazon Alexa team helping developers make Alexa even smarter. Jeff has also spoken at conferences all over the world, including London, Munich, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York, covering topics ranging from software development technologies to soft skill techniques. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 17: Designing Omnichannel Conversations

The Future is Spoken presents Celene Osiecka as this week’s guest to discuss Designing Omnichannel Conversations. Celene is an experienced conversational designer and the current Practice Lead and Senior Director of Conversation Design at 24[7].ai. For the last fifteen year, she has been designing conversational interfaces using emerging technologies such as chatbots, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR),
and Machine Learning. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 16: Conversations with Things

The Future is Spoken presents Diana Diebel as this week’s guest to discuss all things conversational design. Diana is an experienced Voice User Interface (VUI) designer and the current Design Director at Grand Studio, a Chicago-based product design and strategy consultancy.  She is also the co-founder of both the VUI Design Slack channel and the Chicago chapter of the Ubiquitous Voice Society.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences and colleges across the country, including SXSW, SpeechTEK, VOICE, Northwestern and Columbia University. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 15: Voice-First Use Cases for Healthcare

The Future is Spoken presents Dr. Teri Fisher as this week’s guest. Dr. Fisher, dubbed “The Voice Doctor,” is an award-winning TEDx and keynote performer, physician, podcaster, author, educator, and leading authority on all things voice technology. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 14: Evolution of Conversational AI Platforms

Roger is currently a Senior Developer Evangelist for Viv Labs, the platform behind Samsung’s Bixby 2 voice engine. He works with executives, designers, and developers on voice and conversational AI strategy and execution. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 13: Ethics in Voice Design

The Future is Spoken presents Renée Cummings as this week’s guest. Among many roles, Renée is a criminologist, criminal psychologist, AI ethicist, data activist, urban technologist, and international consultant. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 12: Voice Analytics and Performance Optimization

The Future is Spoken presents Phillip Hunter as this week’s guest. Phillip is an expert in strategy, design, and AI-powered optimization. He is the founder of CCAI (Conversational Collaborative AI) Services and is part of the team behind Alexa. In this episode, Phillip discusses voice analytics and performance optimization techniques. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 11: Writing For Listenability

The Future is Spoken presents Hans van Dam as this week’s guest. Hans is the co-founder and CEO of the Conversation Design Institute, which trains and certifies conversation designers from around the world. In this episode, Hans discusses the importance of writing for listenability. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 10: Building a Voice Assistant for Pandora

The Future is Spoken presents Ananya Sharan as this week’s guest. Ananya is a search and voice expert working as the product manager for Pandora’s Voice Mode, a mobile-only voice assistant that allows users to easily discover and listen to new music. In this episode, Ananya explores the rewards and challenges of working with voice assistant technology. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 9: Natural Language Understanding

In this episode The Future is Spoken podcast, Deborah Dahl, a natural language understanding expert, explores natural language understanding and its role in the world of voice technology. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 8: Creating Human-Like Conversational Abilities

Your voice interface creation will only be successful if it possesses human traits such as empathy and imperfection. Senior conversational designer Jason Gilbert digs deep into imbuing your voice interface with human-like conversational abilities in this fascinating episode of The Future is Spoken. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 7: Use Cases for Voice-First Interfaces

This week’s guest on The Future is Spoken is Brielle Nickoloff. Brielle is a conversational designer based in Washington DC. A passion for language and the patterns of language use led Brielle to a career in voice tech. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 6: The Power of Conversational Design

The Future is Spoken is excited to present Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek as this week’s guest. As many listeners will know, Joan is the founder and CEO of Women in Voice, an international organization she created to empower women and minority genders in voice technology. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 5: Designing for Voices in Conversational Design

The Future is Spoken presents Brooke Hawkins as a guest in this episode - Designing for Voices in Conversational Design. Brook is a conversational designer based in Detroit, Michigan. She defines conversational design as any back and forth between a human and an interface. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 4: Voice Strategies in Conversational Design

The Future is Spoken is pleased to have Sina Kahen as a guest in our latest episode - Voice Strategies. Sina is a voice strategist based in London, U.K, and he shares a huge amount of information with listeners in this episode. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 3: Conversational Interfaces

In Conversational Interfaces, we speak with Keri Roberts, owner of Branding Connection. Based in New Jersey, Keri helps brands and businesses discover what they are great at and amplify it. She is a content marketer, and this includes a lot in the audio space, such as chatbots, voice interaction, and podcasts. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 2: Paths Into Voice Interaction Design

In today’s episode Rebecca Evanhoe, a conversation designer and strategist, discusses pathways into voice interaction design, also called conversational design. Based in New York, Rebecca’s own journey into conversational design is a fascinating story. It starts with a chemistry degree and then a master of fine arts in fiction writing. Read the full show notes

 

Episode 1: New Voice Interaction Course Launched

Hello, and welcome to the very first episode of The Future is Spoken, a new podcast show produced by the Digital Assistant Academy. This show accompanies The Digital Assistant Academy’s course, entitled Voice Interaction Design. Read the full show notes

 

Introducing the Digital Assistant Academy

Welcome to the trailer episode of The Future is Spoken, a new podcast show produced by the Digital Assistant Academy. The Future is Spoken will accompany The Digital Assistant Academy’s very first course, entitled Voice Interaction Design, set to launch in October, 2020. Read the full show notes